Wednesday 9th August 2000
Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. announced that it was recalling 6.5 million of its model ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT tires; the move came two days after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration linked hundreds of accidents and at least 46 deaths to problems with the tread on the tires. In May 2000, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a letter to both Ford and Firestone requesting information about the high incidence of tire failure on the popular Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle (SUV). Subsequent investigation by Ford revealed that the tread on the 15-inch ATX and ATX II models and Wilderness AT tires tended to peel off, resulting in very high failure rates. When the tires failed, the vehicles would roll over, sometimes killing their occupants.